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Visiting BU outgunned by Maine in closing minutes, 79-64

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ORONO, Maine - Maine (8-9, 3-2 AE) shot 55% and outscored Binghamton (8-7, 3-2 AE) 14-2 to end the game, pulling away for a 79-64 win Saturday afternoon in an America East Conference game. The Black Bears put four players in double figures, and continued a trend of torrid shooting against the defense-minded Bearcats, who led the conference in field goal percentage defense entering the game. In three games against Binghamton dating back to last season, Maine has shot 63%, 62% and 55% from the floor.

The Bearcats, who led by as many as nine points in the first half, trailed by two at the break and never recaptured the lead. Freshman forward Sebastian Hermenier (Rockville, Md./Maret School) nailed a three-pointer with 5:11 left, pulling BU to within two, 62-60. At the other end, however, Maine seven-foot senior Justin Rowe responded with three straight points to restore the five-point margin. Rowe, who was matched up with Binghamton seven-foot sophomore Nick Billings (Kodiak, Alaska), scored 13 of his team-high 19 points in the second half. After BU senior guard Charles Baker (Missouri City, Texas/Westbury Christian) hit a jumper to cut the deficit to 65-62 with 3:10 to play, the Bearcats went cold, and Maine used a 10-0 run to seal the win. Binghamton managed just four points in the game's final five minutes.

"It was a good game," BU head coach Al Walker said. "Maine made a few more plays at the end, which they are supposed to do at home. It certainly wasn't a double-digit game. Both teams played well."

Binghamton rang up seven three-pointers in the first half, and senior guard Anthony Green (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown) scored 14 of his game-high 21 points during that opening period. Maine, however, shot 57% and hit a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to surge ahead. The Bearcats held their last lead after Billings rebounded his own miss from 16 feet, and immediately rifled in a jumper from the exact same location, giving BU a 43-42 edge with 16:52 left. Maine, however, executed its interior-based offense to near perfection. In the second half, nine of the Black Bears' 14 field goals were layups, and the team also was proficient from the free throw line, sinking 14-of-15 attempts in the final period. In contrast, BU's outside-oriented game fell out of synch in the second half. The team misfired on 9of-11 three-pointers, and dipped to 35% shooting.

Green, second in the America East in scoring, reached double figures for the 14th time this season, and also collected eight rebounds. Hermenier tied a season-high with 11 points, and Billings added 10 points, a game-high nine rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes.

The Bearcats, which saw a three-game win streak end, return to the West Gym floor at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, hosting Albany in another conference game.

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